Communication is Key, Recovery Tips for Operators & Consistent Messaging - Visitor Economy Bushfire Recovery Summit

Communication is Key, Recovery Tips for Operators & Consistent Messaging – Visitor Economy Bushfire Recovery Summit

This week on the ‘That Bad Review’ we present the second episode in the Southern NSW, Visitor Economy Bushfire Recovery Summit podcast series. Episode two begins with a conversation between Shannan Perry-Hall and I. Shannon is the Recovery Action Team Lead – Economic & Tourism, and the Acting Tourism Manager at Shoalhaven City Council.  We have a great chat around communication as a key component during crisis periods. We also discuss recovery tips for operators. In the second half of the episode, I catch up with  three more industry leaders from the south coast, Tim Booth, Daniel Murphy and Anthony Osborne. The trio share their views around what support is needed in the affected areas. We also discuss how taking a proactive approach is the best route to a quicker recovery period.

Communication is Key

Shannan explains the vital role open communication plays in times of crisis, acknowledging that operators can become easily overwhelmed with the volume of information available. Part of Shannan’s role, is to break down the information into digestible pieces, and make it available to business owners. Shannan explains how this information is disseminated, and points out that it’s not just industry stakeholders who are seeking clarification. The public are also sifting through information, in an effort to establish when regions are ready to re-welcome visitors.

Shannan highlights that communication is a two-way street, sharing that operators and visitors are keen to have their needs heard. By understanding these needs, Shannan can advocate for these groups and provide sought after guidance to government agencies. By actively and successfully feeding information up the line, to the right people, Shannan hopes what trickles back down, is what the people on the ground need.

Recovery Tips for Operators

Shannan outlines key opportunities that business owners can take advantage of, to assist them during the recovery process. Shannan explains that the number one priority for operators is to make sure they have a product listing on the Australian Tourism Data Warehouse (ATDW). Listings on the platform can be automatically pulled through to the websites of local and state government agencies, allowing business owners to benefit from an extensive range of high-level, marketing activity.

The second tip, is to leverage as many social media campaigns as possible, by ensuring the use appropriate hashtags.  Shannan shares a number of campaigns available at a local, state and national level, that operators can participate in by using the associated hashtags.

Thirdly, Shannan encourages listeners to sign up to newsletters from their local councils. The advantage of this, is that people in roles like Shannan’s are able to break down the confusing information, ensuring clarity and relevancy for subscribers. Shannan reveals how these newsletters often include additional opportunities that operators can take advantage of, via easy to understand, actionable points.

Consistent Messaging

The three industry leaders I chat with next are, Daniel Murphy, the Manager for Economic Development at Bega Valley Shire Council, Tim Booth, the Manager for Tourism & Events at Eurobodalla Shire Council  and Anthony Osborne, the Managing Director of Destination Agency. The group reiterate the importance of consistent messaging. They stress that information being communicated to the public needs to be honest, and where possible, positive.  By providing advice to operators around open communication and consistent messaging across the region, industry leaders are able to help soften the economic impact within their communities. Anthony provides some great examples of operators who have been able to save bookings, by taking a proactive approach.

Links to resources and additional information

Listen to the podcast episode via this link